‘As If’ - EP from Norris-Brown(December 03, 2012)
Some voices just strike you - when you first hear them you’re captured by their charisma. And the late Ingrid Brown had one of those voices - listen to the EP ‘As If’ from Norris-Brown to hear just how spectacular.
The eponymous title track on ‘As If’ is one of the most powerful moving songs you’re likely to hear as Ingrid pours so much of herself into its lyrics. Her voice then creates an evocative feeling of expansive enchantment within ‘How Do I Run’. And should you want to lose yourself then let the frailty of 'Cast Me Away' slide over you, while the wonderful energy of ‘Kicked Down The Door’ compels you to listen.
I'll pause here to give you a bit of background ... Norris-Brown - Ingrid Brown (vocals) and Adrian Norris (guitar) - formed in 1992 when Ingrid answered Adrian’s advertisement for a vocalist. As it happens, Ingrid had the vocal range, depth and quality to express Adrian’s songs to perfection. Playing mostly self-penned and traditional folk songs they played as Pocketstone before adopting the name Norris-Brown. In early 2006 Ingrid was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy and if that was not enough, Adrian’s right hand suffered a nerve condition that affected his guitar playing. Despite these setbacks, in early 2010 Norris-Brown started rehearsing once more, however Ingrid’s cancer returned and she sadly passed away that June at the tender age of 46.
There exists, however a collection of Norris-Brown songs and Adrian has released the four-song taster ‘As If’ EP as a prelude to getting those songs developed and produced as a lasting tribute to Ingrid’s talent. Along with Ingrid’s vocals and Adrian’s guitar, some great musicians added their abilities to ‘As If’ including Lesley Turner (violin) Matt Foundling (piano) James Banner (electric and double bass) and Daniel O’Brien (cello). If that collection of songs has anything like the presence and power of this EP (and I’m sure they do) they deserve the skills of a fine producer and the talents of eminent musicians.
On hearing ‘As If’ producers and musicians should beat a path to Adrian’s door – if they don’t I’ll be amazed. You can hear more of Ingrid’s voice on soundcloud.com/norris-brown. And when you visit the Soundcloud website just listen to the live version of ‘Rhiannon’ to hear Ingrid's talent at work.
Reviewer: Tim Carroll